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Afrigo Band Guitarist Sammy Kasule dies at 69

Afrigo Band Guitarist and Vocalist Sammy Kasule performing (File Photo)

Veteran Musician and Afrigo Band’s finest guitarist, Samuel Kasule alias Sammy, is dead at 69 years of age.

Kasule, who showed interest in music at a very early age when he built his very first guitar out of wood and tins, passed away this Tuesday in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

“It is with deep regret to report the death of our bass guitarist Mr Sammy Kasule,” said Afrigo Band in a statement today.

“Sammy had been on his way to Sweden for further treatment when at his stop over at Amsterdam it was assessed that he couldn’t continue with the journey without treatment.”

Afrigo said Sammy had been receiving treatment in Amsterdam and “we were hoping he was going to be able to continue on to Sweden but this has not been. May his soul rest in peace.”

Sammy was one of the guitarists Uganda has ever had

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In school, Sammy joined Katikamu Light College band beginning his lifelong career as a musician, he would later drop school and join the Super Kaumba and Les Noirs in the 1970’s.

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Kasule further went on to join Special Liwanza Band in 1976 where he featured as a bassist and singer.

In 1978 he was in the forefront during the formation of the Somajeko International Band.

In 1978, Kasule was among the founders of the Makonde Band in Nairobi that was led by Greece-born Taso Stephanou.

When Somajeko suffered a split, Kasule teamed up with Ali Magobeni, Vincent Otieno and Shaban Onyango to form the Jambo Talents Band.

Kasule’s biggest breakthrough was in 1985 when he founded Orchestra Vundumuna Band, which was based at the Carnivore Restaurant in Nairobi.

Because of the political climate in his native country Uganda, Sammy moved to Kenya. During this period he played bass guitar for Vundumuna in addition to recording 2 of his own albums, Kasule and Muziki.

Sammy Kasule
Sammy Kasule, the former Afrigo Band Guiarist is dead

The 1984 LP Kasule was a smash, spawning three hits, “Kukupenda”, “Ushirikiano” and “Shauri Yako”, Kasule’s English-language version of Nguashi Ntimbo’s hit song.

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He also blessed Uganda’s soundtrack with songs such as Ozze Munange, Ziwuna and Ekitobero.

As a singer and guitarist, Sammy is present on many Kenyan recordings made during the 1980s.

He was a member of Orchestra Vundumuna, and as part of another group, Africa Jambo Jambo, was recruited to fill in as part of Orchestra Simba Wanyika during their 1989 European tour.

Living in Sweden since 1991, Sammy started a band named Makonde.

The band was a rare mix of cultures consisting of musicians from several African countries and also some from Sweden.

He continued to compose, sing and also play the bass guitar.

Sammy later returned to his homeland Uganda where he played his favorite musical instrument- the guitar – with Afrigo Band. 


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